March 30th, 2018


Interesting Links for 30-03-2018


How do we avoid the next Brexit?

There's an interesting article here about the reasons why Brexit happened - and more importantly, why it's important that whatever we do we work on fixing the background issues. Because it's one thing to try and avoid Brexit (or minimise it as far as possible), and another to avoid a repeat of the situation in a few years because we haven't fixed the causes.

I was banging on about this a good fifteen years ago - about inequality being a problem, and that while the rising tide of a decent economy was a good thing, it was also covering up structural problems. I hadn't realised how badly it was going to come back to haunt us, but I'm not at all surprised by it.

There's a great reaction over on Twitter here saying On ITV's Tonight programme earlier Peston went to NorthEast, interviewed lots of people about why they voted for Brexit so heavily. The ones shown basically boiled down to "we voted for 'change', because things cant get any worse" Boy oh Boy - are THEY in for a nasty surprise.". And the thing is that one the one hand they're right, things _are_ going to get worse. But on the other hand, if you've already got nothing, then I suspect that you're not expecting there to be a state of "less than nothing" which things can regress to.

I had similar discussions during the election of Syriza in Greece, where some people couldn't understand why people would vote for a situation which would make things worse, and it was clear that to the people suffering through massive unemployment and poverty that it didn't feel like there _was_ anything worse.

The thing being that if we let society get into a state where people are saying "Things can't get any worse" then it doesn't matter if they're right or not - the whole country is about to be badly fucked up by people who are desperate for _anything_ to make it better. If we don't bring everyone along on the journey to a better world then the people who are left crushed by the system are going to sabotage it. And who, frankly, can blame them.

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